Sunday, September 1, 2013

Review: Getaway

Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

Based on the song by Earth, Wind and Fire... Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Courtney Solomon's "Getaway" is a loud, mostly obnoxious and incredibly repetitive new action movie that wastes the talents of Ethan Hawke, gives Selena Gomez a variation on the same line to repeat for nearly 90 minutes and shows disturbing close-ups of Jon Voight's mouth speaking in what I believe is supposed to be a Bulgarian accent.

I'm sure that the filmmakers are hoping to present some sort of existential crime drama in the vein of Walter Hill's "The Driver" or Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive," in which nameless characters take on nameless villains for nebulous reasons, but "Getaway" is clearly not on par with those films.

At the beginning of the picture, Ethan Hawke - a retired race car driver - comes home to find his home in shambles and his wife missing. He gets a phone call from Voight's mysterious kidnapper, who gives him a set of instructions that include driving full speed through a crowd of Christmas revelers in Sofia, where the film is set, and leading cops on a series of wild car chases. You might be infuriated when you hear Voight's absurd ulterior motives at the film's end.

During these mostly lackluster proceedings, Hawke's driver picks up a car thief (Gomez), who spends a majority of the film yelling "Oh God," "No!," "Stop!," "What are you doing?," "I hate you!,"and the like as Hawke drives wildly, knocking over everything in sight with his vehicle.

The film is shot in that frenetic style typical of most Hollywood action movies that gives me the impression that, if slowed down, the filmmakers would be afraid that the audience would realize that there's not much to gaze upon.

"Getaway" is all sound and fury - signifying nothing - or sturm und drang or whatever other cliche you might want to apply here. Regardless, I'm sure it's fitting.

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